Monday, December 21, 2009

Juanda in "Jungle-Venture" (Fox Comics; 1948)

The twelve days of Christmas continues in the Catacombs with this Editors Choice golden age story selection from the Fox Comics series, Jo-Jo Congo King #21, which was first published in Nov. 1948. "Jungle Venture" is a fast paced four-pager starring Juanda. The artwork by A.C. Hollingsworth simply oozes sensuality. Just look at the curves on these chicks, boys. That is how they drew 'em back in the days of femininity. The bad guys in this one try to swipe a secret elixir that will allow them to become immortal, but they eventually fall flat. As a holiday bonus, I'm including this issues great cover by Jack Kamen!

Like Matt Baker (who is perhaps better known), Alvin Hollingsworth was an African-American comic book artist, active within the industry during the 1940s and 1950s. He was born in New York City and was also a classmate of Joe Kubert's at the High School of Music and Art. By the age of twenty, Alvin was working as an assistant at Holyoke Publishing Company, where helped out on Catman Comics. A year later he began doing illustrations for various crime comics. Hollingsworth drew for several companies until the mid-1950s, including Fox ('Bronze Man', 'Rulah Jungle Goddess'), Fiction House ('Suicide Smith'), Feature Comics (romance), Spotlight (war), Story Comics (crime) and Trojan (crime and romance). Beginning in the mid-1950s, he worked on newspaper comics like 'Kandy' (Smith-Mann Syndicate), 'Scorchy Smith' (Associated Press) and 'Martin Keel' (with George Shedd). Hollingsworth eventually left the comic strip field to pursue a career in the world of fine art and from 1980 until his retirement in 1998, Hollingsworth was a full Professor of Art at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York. He passed away in 2000.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.


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